Saturday, January 22, 2011

Grief Triggers

Grief triggers. Those emotional sucker punches out of nowhere. They can be anything that brings up those feelings about the person who has died. A song, a place, a smell, anything at all. Maybe a holiday. Maybe Valentine's Day.

For me, it's my dad I miss on Valentine's Day. One look at Whitman's samplers and suddenly I'm five, hugging my daddy on Valentine's Day.

What is it for you? What takes you back to a special moment with the person you are missing? How do you deal with them when they hit? Do you surrender and feel the pain and nostalgia or push it back?


  1. Oyy, where to start!

    For me, it is a combination of lots of little things. Music, rainbows, crazy colored sneakers, Chanel perfume (she always stole mine), DeGrassi on TV, and many more things that I am blanking on.

    I usually let out a little tear, or smile about the memories, or even sing as loud as I can to the song on the radio.

    I never push it back. I love thinking about Niff.

  2. Birthdays, anniversaries, a scent that reminds me of them. Sometimes it makes me sad and can be overwhelming. Sometimes it feels good to think of them and bring them close.

    Butterflies that gather at the bushes planted in their memory, make me smile.

    And Rainbows. a beautiful full rainbow appeared outside my Dad's window when he was dying. He passed a few hours later. When I went back and looked at the pictures I took of the rainbow, I saw a faint double rainbow. I am sure it was a sign....a wink, whatever. It was my mom coming and leading him to heaven. I love seeing rainbows!!!!

  3. Jacqueline- I'm like you. I never push it back. Maybe I'm afraid if I do, it'll stop. As for the radio, I totally relate to that. In my book, I mention cars being the #1 place reported for cathartic grief-meltdowns. (Showers come 2nd:)

    Anonymous- What is it about scents? Such a powerful sense memory, right? I kept my dad's cologne in my car FOR YEARS. Smelled like his hugs, and I desperately needed that reminder for a very long time. I really like the butterfly and rainbow signs from your parents.

    Thanks for sharing these!


When someone dies, (other than attending the service), I do this for the family-